The three-day European
People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats (EPP-ED) conference
drew to a close on Friday, discussing the topical issue of illegal immigration.
In the concluding
remarks of the conference, which saw the attendance of 500 delegates
from the 27
member states of the European Union (EU), EPP-ED Chairperson Joseph
Daul said that Malta’s
concerns about illegal immigration were strongly voiced. "The situation
is bad and concrete action of solidarity is required," the
Chairperson remarked. He added that it is up to other
countries to show solidarity with nations facing similar worries.
The Chairperson also reminded how the Portugal has
already pledged that illegal immigration will be treated as a priority during
it six months at the helm of the EU.
Joseph Daul insisted
that the message received from Malta
must not be forgotten, but taken outside Maltese shores in a bid to help the
island solve its problems tied to the phenomenon.
the conference, Vice President on the European Commission gave an introduction
about a package concerning illegal immigration. This was followed by Minister
for Justice and Home Affair Tonio Borg giving an address about the problem of
illegal immigration in the Mediterranean .
Chairperson of the European Parliament Mario Mauro also spoke of policies the
EEP-ED will be adopting vis-à-vis illegal immigrant influxes.
Addressing the press soon after the conference
drew to an end, Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi said that it is highly
satisfying that the MEPS came to Malta and discovered that it does indeed require
the burden-sharing of illegal immigrants. He added
that through the “very important conference” members of the EPP-ED were also
made more aware of the need for a common policy on the subject.
The Prime Minister went on to say that the
issues brought up during the conference, concerning the Mediterranean
Sea and matters pertaining to maritime policies, peace in the Mediterranean
region, transport and illegal immigration, are of importance to all EU states.
Dr Gonzi also expressed his satisfaction at
various positive comments Malta
received, adding that the islands achievements will be furthered next Tuesday will
confirm the final step in adopting the euro currency as from the 1st
Among those praising Malta's achievements with regards to then euro was Hungarian Member of the European Parliament (MEP)
Mr Zeolt Laszio Becsey , who visited the for lowering its
deficit from 10.2% in 2003 to a forecast 2.3% in 2007.
On his part, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry
of Finance, Tonio Fenech said that “Our country is now few months away from a
historical step. We intend to continue lowering our debt levels whilst keeping
inflation low. This is an exciting period which we are entering into and we are
committed to keep on delivering the best for our nation.”